Tempe, one of Arizona’s most-populous cities, enacted an ordinance on Thursday banning anti-LGBT discrimination in housing, employment, and service in places like restaurants and hotels.
The City Council vote was unanimous and came a day after Governor Jan Brewer vetoed a controversial bill that would have allowed anti-LGBT discrimination in public accommodation. While the ordinance is a huge step for Tempe, it does allow religious exemptions. That means individuals and businesses may continue to discriminate if they felel serving or hiring gay or transgender people conflicts with their religion.
Tempe now joins Arizona cities like Tucson, Flagstaff, and Phoenix in protecting LGBT citizens. The latter city, the nation’s sixth-largest, is run by a pro-LGBT Democratic mayor, Greg Stanton. Previously, Stanton told The Advocate the proposed antigay bill was a mistake and he just said that even with it killed, “much damage has been done.”
"The negative national and international publicity that our state has already received; it sends a message that our state is not a warm, welcoming place," Stanton told The Huffington Post. "And the truth is, we are!"
Meanwhile, the CEO of Arizona's Chamber of Commerce, Glenn Hamer, was asked on Bloomberg what makes his state welcoming since it's the origin of so much divisive legislation. "The weather," Hamer answered.